Soccer

On this day in 2008: David Beckham heads to Milan to boost England hopes

David Beckham joined AC Milan on loan from MLS club LA Galaxy on October 30, 2008 (Owen Humphreys/PA)
David Beckham joined AC Milan on loan from MLS club LA Galaxy on October 30, 2008 (Owen Humphreys/PA) David Beckham joined AC Milan on loan from MLS club LA Galaxy on October 30, 2008 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

David Beckham joined AC Milan on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy on this day in 2008.

The then 33-year-old England midfielder agreed a two-month move to Italy to stay fit during the MLS close-season in the United States.

England manager Fabio Capello, who coached Beckham at Real Madrid, said: “Milan have made a good addition.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Manchester United v AC Milan – Old Trafford
Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Manchester United v AC Milan – Old Trafford David Beckham pictured playing for AC Milan against his former club Manchester United in a Champions League tie at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

“At Madrid I left him out of the squad because he had signed a contract with Los Angeles but he continued to come on the field and train and I put him back in the team.

“He is a very serious lad, very sensible, a professional. People think he is a playboy off the field, it’s not true at all.”

The 108-times capped Beckham felt a move to Milan would boost his chances of England selection.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said: “His reasons are to stay fit and to make himself available for England, and the only way he can do that is to be training and playing in a good environment.

Soccer – International Friendly – England v Sweden – England Press Conference – The Grove Hotel
Soccer – International Friendly – England v Sweden – England Press Conference – The Grove Hotel England manager Fabio Capello said his former club Milan had made a “good addition” in signing David Beckham on loan (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“This, on the part of David, was a purely technical rationale. He wants to continue to play for England and this is one of the ways to do that.”

Beckham began his glittering career at Manchester United, where he won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League.

He joined Real Madrid in 2003 and spent four years in Spain before moving to LA Galaxy. Beckham had two loan spells at Milan and ended his career at Paris St Germain in 2013.

Beckham went on to win 115 caps for England, a total only bettered by Peter Shilton and Wayne Rooney.